Easing your workload with help from HME manufacturers

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Q. We want to ramp up our efforts to use order tracking and other Web resources offered by manufacturers that we do business with. However, we need to know what's available. Can you help?
A. There is an incredible array of information and services available. Focus on what you need to do. Most top-tier HME manufacturers offer some or all of the following on their sites:
Online catalog: One of the easiest and most common uses of a Web site is a product catalog. A great catalog will display your pricing and item availability. Even better are those that offer ancillary documentation like MSDS sheets, brochures and even SADMERC letters to ensure that proper billing codes are applied.
Online ordering: Place the order at your convenience. Ordering functions typically allow you to see availability and ensure proper pricing at time of order.
Order status: Even if you don't place the order online, take advantage of the Web site to look up order status. Look for backorders, delivery information and even links for PODs.
Invoices: Have you ever needed a re-print of an invoice? Use a vendor's site to find your invoices quickly and easily. You might be able to print that copy or have it e-mailed to you.
Reporting: Finally, some manufacturers offer online reporting. This can be information that is difficult for you to keep and maintain, such as a monthly invoice summary and item usage. Everything from simple summaries to annual volumes might be just a few clicks away.
Use the manufacturer's Web sites to ease your workload. Spending a little bit of time upfront to learn how it works can pay back dividends of time each month thereafter. hme

Dave Rolston is vice president of e-business for Medline Industries. Reach him at (847) 643-4779 or drolston@medline.com.